SEPTEMBER 19, 2012—CASS LAKE, MN—With the conclusion of its nine-tournament regular season on the legendary waters Minnesota’s iconic Cass Lake, the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit awarded its 2012 Team of the Year title to the two-person team accumulating the highest point total from four qualifying events.
David Kolb, of Rockford, Michigan, and Jason Kopf, of Avon Lake, Ohio, claimed the coveted crown thanks to a stellar season that included strong finishes at the Illinois River, Mille Lacs, Lake Huron and Lake Winnebago tournaments. Their 406.69-point benchmark earned them $13,500 in cash, plus a pair of gold Team of the Year rings.
The prestigious award comes with serious bragging rights in the walleye world as well, since to claim the title a team must top a field of more than 1,100 anglers competing in tournaments from Colorado to Ohio. The 2012 schedule included the Illinois River at Spring Valley, Illinois, March 24-25; the Detroit River at Trenton, Michigan, April 13-15; Lake Pueblo at Pueblo, Colorado, April 27-29; Lake Erie at Huron, Ohio, May 18-20; Mille Lacs Lake at Isle, Minnesota, May 31-June 1; Lake Winnebago at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, June 29-July 1; Lake Oahe at Pierre, South Dakota, July 28-29; the St. Mary’s River at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, August 24-26; and Cass Lake, Minnesota, at Stony Point Resort, Sept. 14-16.
Pennsylvanians Doug Yohe, of Bradford, and Charlie Brant, of Russell, won $4,708 for finishing a close second in the Team of the Year race with 373.36 points. Dennis Lantzy, of Warren, Michigan, and Steve Vande Mark, of Linwood, Michigan, finished third for $3,766 with 355.66 points. In fourth place, Curt Olivier, of Yankton, South Dakota, and Doug Galant, of Pleasant Hill, Missouri, won $3,060 for their 348.13-point total. In all, the Cabela’s MWC Team of the Year race paid out more than $37,040 in cash to the top 10 teams. Each season, the Team of the Year pot includes $20,000 plus an additional $30 per “unique” team fishing the trail.
With the regular season wrapped up, the Circuit moves on to the Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship, set for Oct. 18-20 on Pools 9 and 10 of the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The no-entry fee event offers a $101,000 cash purse plus sponsor bonuses, and carries a $25,000 first-place paycheck. The invitation-only event will feature the top 48 teams in the season’s overall and Premier (earlybird) points races, based on each team’s best three finishes.
The Cabela’s MWC is open to all anglers regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. Payouts are based on the number of teams fishing each event. Overall, the Circuit typically pays back more than 120 percent of entry fees in cash payouts, team of the year awards, sponsor contingencies and Championship winnings. The 2013 schedule is set to be released in October. For details, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.